Officers Guard Old Forge

OLD FORGE -- Last month's school shooting in Parkland, Florida led to a national conversation about gun control and security changes in schools across the country, including some in our area.

Administrators in the Old Forge School District in Lackawanna County made a quick move to get armed police officers on their campus.

Frank Zack has noticed a change this week as he's waited to pick his great-nieces up from school -- Old Forge Police officers stationed outside the school buildings.

But it didn't surprise him since the reaction to our country's latest school shooting has been swift.

"You see the students, how they're lobbying the politicians, you know, trying to get them to do something, and they're going to have a big march in March, and it seems like they want to have something done. They don't want this to happen again. Nobody does," Zack said.

Old Forge Superintendent John Rushefski appealed to the borough council on Monday night. And by Tuesday morning, Old Forge Police officers were stationed at the school for the entire school day.

"What happened in Florida really made our organization, our school district, say, 'what are we doing?' and try to firm up the things that we had in place. We want to be prepared for a situation that we hope will never come," Rushefski said.

The superintendent says he also met with a security expert this week who has already given the district some tips about ways to change the entrances and exits of the buildings to make it safer.

Old Forge Police Chief Jason Dubernas says officers were at the schools during drop-off and pick-up in the past. Now, Monday through Friday there will be at least one officer on campus during school hours.

It's for security but the presence has had other consequences.

"I had a little boy in the elementary step out and say, 'oh, the police!' and he hid behind the wall. Then I turned around and said, 'hey buddy, high five' and you could see the glow on his face like we're not to be afraid of," Chief Dubernas said.

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